I have two letters of yours to answer, dated May 7 & 14th, both forwarded from Cox Bombay. As you know by now I was all too foolishly optimistic about my leave, & it was refused. I thought it best not to wire but just to let you know in the ordinary way by post. Of course I still have a chance, but not for some time yet I’m afraid & in any case I’m not going to be so foolish as to even hint at an off chance next time, & I shan’t say a word till I’m really on the way!
Very many thanks for your letters. In May 7th one you were waiting for letters from me. You had got Jim & my cable, sent from here in May sometime. I’m so glad it turned up safely. Yes indeed we have had some good old talks, & since then I have been up to stay with him for 2 days & found him fit & well & flourishing. I wonder if Dick will go to India or Egypt. If I was he I would choose Egypt, but I know how much he likes India.
No luck with the bees yet you say. I quite agree, I can’t think why honey should be so dear. I suppose there are less people to keep & look after bees now, & also less flowers to gather honey from, everything being vegetables nowadays! I should think lobbing – or is it bobbing? – the hair would suit Rosamond admirably, just the type of face for it (this will make her hoot, I know! My love to her; & I must write.) As you say, I doubt if it wd suit Ruth so well.
You had just got 3 letters from me in yours dated May 14th you say; I got it 2 days ago, from Cox, so you see it has taken just 2 months to reach me. You are still waiting anxiously for my wire, juggins that I was! Yes, old Ben very kindly offered to look after old Nell & some of her trousseau for me, but I’m afraid that’s all no good now. I do wish they’d give Topher a commission. Could’nt Dick go over & see the C.O. & root round a bit. It’s a shame as you say to expect the poor boy to go back to the ranks after all he’s done.
We are getting rather good fruit now, lovely cool juicy water melons, & grapes, & plums, the latter not quite ripe yet. I see a lady writing from home in an Indian paper seems to make a little go a very long way, & made some lovely sounding meals out of nothing very much apparently; she was writing to say we were’nt to worry, & things were all right really – just the same as you always write in your wonderfully cheery way.
I see that the American Admiral Sims says submarines are practically so well in hand now as we can almost say we have done them in. If so, it is wonderfully good news; and it does’nt seem likely that anyone wd be allowed to make a public statement like that unless there was good solid foundation of fact for it nowadays. What wonderful people the navy are, & news like that coming on the top of Zeebrugge & Ostend ought to buck the British public up no end & answer all those silly fat-headed carping arm-chair critics who are continually asking what is the navy doing.
You will have got my letter by now saying the F & M. boxes turned up quite safely after all & were, I hear, very much appreciated. How did you find Camberley I wonder? Much the same as ever I suppose. How amusing old Smith being the only one able to mend your bicycle!
Artie Wooldridge a Major! I don’t want to sneer at the new army & there are hundreds & thousands of thundering good fellows in it I know, but still – they do get on quickly don’t they. Here I am with 14 years’ service next month, & only a captain still! Brevets are’nt much good I’m afraid. Oh well, I can’t grouse, I’m still alive and whole, which is better than fifty million promotions is’nt it. There’s only one souvenir I want after this war & that’s
Your loving son
Rosamund seems to be thinking of cutting her hair in a bob – interesting because we associate the hairstyle with the 1920s not the war years.